Not So Modern Medicine

On the recommendation of both my primary physician and my oncologist, I am having a colonoscopy done tomorrow morning. Most of that has to do with my age and of course the desire on my doctors part to know if the inside of my colon is behaving as well as the outside appears to be doing. The experience, however, reminds me of just how far medical science has to go to be truly advanced, in my opinion.

Some years ago I reached the conclusion that men were generally more realistic than women, because only men start each day with a razor at their throat. That idea was reinforced by the indignity of the prostate examination, and of course a colonoscopy certainly ranks right up there, the notion of a camera on a cord shoved up the rear end of the patient, who then gets to pay for the procedure in an amount similar to a cruise vacation.

I’m not inordinately concerned about the embarrassment or discomfort of the procedure, having been regularly poked, prodded, pierced, injected and so on over the last three years. But in addition to the thrills of the actual procedure, and paying for same in the kind of money that could have been used on a new television or jewelry for the wife, I get to enjoy the taste sensation of Gavilyte. Gavilyte has to be drunk the day before the procedure, a day by the way when I cannot have any solid foods. I get to drink, 8 ounces at a time, a gallon of a clear liquid which will flush out my colon. Remember what mucilage smells like? That’s what Gavilyte tastes like. Just imagine the experience of putting down a gallon of that stuff, and not being allowed to have a single bite of real food?

Of course, by tomorrow morning I may miss the Gavilyte, because after midnight I am not allowed to drink anything either. That’s especially nice in South Texas in hundred-degree heat.

So what’s the point? Three, actually. One, I feel like a mild rant and this is it. The colonoscopy is a minor but annoying procedure, but I don’t have to pretend I like it. Two, things like this remind of just how very far medical science is from being truly advanced, given the cost, inconvenience and displeasure of a test that everyone agrees is important. And three, I am likely to be irritable for a while, so I will not be blogging for a little while, in everyone’s best interest.

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